Our Tiny Little Head

Every magazine is boasting they have the best “organize everything” tips this month, the sales fliers are full of storage totes and file folders- January is the month to organize your life and start your new year off right. I must not be as immune to the marketing influences as I would like to think. I have spent a good part of the last two days shuffling and reorganizing parts of the boat. Now aboard, I have found a few of my over-thought stowage plans still needed tweaking. Nothing big-just switching out a few locations or bins. I can tell when I have found the proper place for something when I never have to go behind and clean it up. It just easily finds itself back in the proper place. One place that I think I have down to near perfection is the head. It seems to keep itself tidy. Yay!

Because everybody likes to peak into someone else’s medicine cabinet I thought I’d share the details of my tiny little head (bathroom).

First, my head is tiny. 4.5 feet by 3 feet at its widest. The floor space is much smaller than that. Even the smallest bath mat is larger than my entire “floor”. I put floor in quotations because it is really the shower basin. That’s right -my entire head becomes the shower stall (if showers are not taken out on deck-which they frequently are in the islands). Not only is it tiny and has to be able to get 100% wet, it once was really, really gross. The headliner (ceiling) was foam-backed vinyl when we bought the boat. Did you read the part about being a shower area?!? Not exactly the best choice of materials. Here is a “before” photo.

Yummy huh?

So the moldy vinyl was yanked out and replaced with a PVC bead-board paneling. The corroded faucet was replaced the fiberglass sink was sawzalled out and a new Corian counter laid down. Keith scored me that pretty little sink on clearance at West Marine for $8.00. I know-he finds the best clearance deals! I got it under the Christmas tree a few years ago. The electrical wires were routed someplace other than directly through the shower.

Here is an “After” photo:

The one thing that stayed was the actual head (toilet). It is awesome. It is a Lav-Vac head and works differently than all of the other ones available that I have seen in the states. It is all done by suction. The lid has a seal on it- you close the lid and pump the handle. The handle is connected to a large manual pump (in fact it is our manual bilge pump- just switch the y-valve). The pump brings in sea water thereby forcing everything else out. Nothing to clog, no joker-valves or pins. Super simple and super tough. The one upgrade I made was to slip-cover the unsightly sewage-grade black hoses with white bilge hose that is sliced open length wise and slipped over. Teeny- tiny detail-but makes all the difference they just disappear into the background now. See-pretty.

Back to the organizing. I have one large sized locker behind the sliding doors. Unfortunately, I have lots of little items to store in it.

First, I used the shelf for items used frequently but not part of our daily routine. Things like bug-spray, special conditioners, Peroxide. My tiny trash can is also on this shelf; I use old wipes boxes. Keeps the trash tidy, sealed, and out of sight.

Second, for the daily routine items, I hung little bins on the shelf for toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo and such. No digging for anything, no sliding items around and searching. Easy.

Third, in the deep section below the shelf, I have room to store all of my toiletry type long-term provisions. To keep items from becoming lost way down deep, I used a filing system using labeled zip-lock bags (remember this locker, though dry, is still inside the shower stall). A bag for razors, a bag for Q-tips, and bag for soaps….. Keeps everything super easy to locate and I will be able to know at a glance what my inventory levels are. It is amazing how many razors fit into a gallon ziplock!

Finally, in the locker below the cabinet, I have my toilet paper holder. Check it out-no one has to get in trouble for not replacing the roll on the holder. It just sits in its little basket. This worked out so well that I hung a second little basket below for other toiletryish items. Right where you need them.

Oh, and the one item on the counter is a little (covered) jar with some more items we use every day. Q-tips, floss picks, and tweezers/nail files. It is stuck there with Velcro so it won’t go flying underway. The trays of shells are also super stuck down with industrial sticky gunk.

So there is a peak into my head-no need to feel guilty about snooping!